Cell Features and Adoption

April 27, 2010


Article available at Hippo Media.

The proliferation of cell phones and high speed mobile networking doesn't necessarily mean we know how to use all the features on our amazing little mobile devices. The list of features is staggering and can include: GPS, camera, video, a myriad of games, video conferencing and we haven't even mentioned the number of applications and plug ins available.

So, with all that technology hanging on a belt...what features on a cell phone are actually used?
  • 89 percent Phone calls
  • 56 percent Clock/alarm
  • 52 percent Text messaging
  • 52 percent Camera
  • 40 percent Calendar/agenda/organizer
  • 28 percent Email
  • 19 percent Emergencies Only
  • 18 percent Instant messaging/Blackberry messenger
  • 18 percent MP3’s /music/ videos
  • 18 percent Picture/ video messaging
  • 15 percent Web browsing
  • 14 percent GPS or mapping services
  • 14 Downloading (games, ring tones, etc)
  • 13 percent Search
  • 11 percent Facebook mobile
  • 5 percent Contests/promotions
  • 4 percent Subscriptions/alerts
  • 3 percent Twitter mobile
Source: Delvinia’s 2009-2010 study of Canadian mobile behaviours conducted through AskingCanadians.

For advertisers, this means a couple things. First, and foremost, your message has to be plain, simple and understandable. Second, we should expect your existing and potential customers to find information about you with the least number of hoops to jump through. 

So, assuming Canadian proclivities (excluding three-down football and polar bear swims) can find some commonality in other ares, we can assume that most people use their cell phones as...well...cell phones. Certainly the numbers of people sending messages by SMS is increasing and the numbers of individuals surfing the web on a small screen is increasing at similar rates as mobile hi-speed; however, only a scant few actually take advantage of all the "bells and whistles" on their mobile device.


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